Usher in 2009 with black-eyed pea cakes


My former colleague and friend Robert St. John introduced me to these several years ago. He’s the owner/operator of the wonderful Purple Parrot restaurant in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

His recipe is a little involved, but I ran across a simpler version which I think I’m going to try. I’ll probably half the recipe and make tiny cakes suitable for serving as an appetizer. I’m a purist…must have a big fat bowl of peas to make darn sure we all have lots of good luck in the new year. Here’s what you do for the cakes:


  • 2 (15-oz.) cans seasoned black-eyed peas, drained and divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled cornbread
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Jalapeño Sour Cream
  • Garnish: green onion curls


Process 1 can black-eyed peas in a food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside.

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add chopped onion and bell pepper; sauté 7 minutes. Add minced garlic, and sauté 1 minute.

Stir together pureed black-eyed peas, remaining can black-eyed peas, onion mixture, crumbled cornbread, mayonnaise, and egg until well blended.

Shape black-eyed pea mixture into 12 (3-inch) patties. Dust lightly with cornmeal. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet; cover and chill 30 minutes.

Cook, in batches, in hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 3 minutes on each side or until golden; drain on paper towels. Serve cakes immediately with Jalapeño Sour Cream. Garnish, if desired. Makes 6 to 8 servings

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